Homeschool Learning Spaces: Displaying Children's Work

No matter what stage of your homeschool adventure you are in, an area for displaying student work is something your whole family will benefit from in multiple ways. 

  • student encouragement

  • personalized praise

  • motivation

  • nurturing a growth mindset

  • simple and cost-effective decorations

When you include a space in your classroom for displaying students' work, you are saying to the world, "Look at this wonderful thing my child did! I am so proud." Your child can bask in the unspoken affirmations you are providing when you hang up something they created with their own two hands.  

Nurturing a Growth Mindset Through Praise

A growth mindset refers to the belief that traits such as intelligence or talent are changeable traits capable of evolving and growing. Alternatively, a fixed mindset refers to the belief that we are born with certain talents and nothing we do will greatly change those abilities.

Raising children with a growth mindset takes intentional effort on the part of the parents, but the results are worthwhile! Children who have a growth mindset prove themselves capable of overcoming obstacles throughout their entire lives.

One simple way to encourage a growth mindset is to offer praise focused on effort. Rather than telling your child, “You’re so smart,” or “You’re such a good girl,” instead focus on the child's hard work. Say, “Look at how much you worked on this,” or “I’m so proud of how you kept trying when it was hard.”

Growth mindset praise focuses on the actions your child can control rather than the results. So when you set up an area for displaying student work, be sure to point out all the diligence and perseverance that went behind the finished project.

What to Consider When Displaying Student Work

If your kids create hands-on projects, then you might be faced with many options and not nearly enough wall space. How do you decide which pieces to display and which pieces to put into storage or perhaps just throw away? Here are types of wall displays for the homeschool. 

An Artwork Display

Enjoyed a fun craft or arts project? Hang up something created by every member of your homeschool and create your own family art gallery.

Work Well-done

Did one of your students create something particularly wonderful? Maybe your child worked extra hard on a map or graph and his or her attention to detail was so great that the work deserves to be displayed. Hang it up and show it off.

Work Hard-earned

Regardless of the quality of the finished product, kids need to be praised for work hard-earned. If your child worked particularly hard on a project, and you're extra proud of her effort, then give your child a little self-esteem boost by hanging up the finished piece of work.

Themed Displays

Allow your children to express their own creativity by letting each child create a visual aid for an upcoming unit study.  

How to Use Wall Space to Display Work

Homeschool Learning Spaces: Displaying Children's WorkWhen it comes to the specifics of how to display work, there are many options. For example, if your homeschool room doubles as your kitchen or dining room, then your refrigerator makes a great vehicle for displayed work. Bulletin boards are inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing options as well Or you can go as simple as hanging work on a blank wall using tape, thumbtacks, or picture-hanging putty.  

More Ideas For Using Wall Space to Display Work

  • bulletin boards or corkboards

  • magnetic boards (Buy a metal sheet at the local craft store or home improvement store.)

  • magnetic paint 

  • whiteboard (Some whiteboards come with magnetic or corkboard hybrid options.)

  • shadow boxes

  • dollar store picture frames

  • picture-hanging putty

  • thumbtacks

  • tape

  • curtain rod and hangers or string

  • DIY cardboard trifolds (reminiscent of science fair project displays)

  • clothespins (either attached to the wall or hung from a string that is strung across the wall)

You might also consider having two dedicated spaces for displaying student work: one you are in control of and one your child is in control of. This way your children can hang what they feel is important to them without disturbing your own intentional display. Nurture that growth mindset in your children while they are young and as they grow, the positive results will snowball into other areas of their lives.

Regardless of the method you use, when a child sees their work displayed, it encourages them to keep working hard. A few tiny holes from a thumbtack are a small price to pay for the happiness and pride you will see in your kids' faces as they get to display their work.

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About the Author

Charlene Hess of Hess Un-AcademyCharlene Hess spent many years teaching before she had her own kids. She now has 7 of her own, whom she has been homeschooling for the last 10 years. Although she still teaches other children outside of her home, she finds great joy in exploring the world with her family.

Charlene has participated in many leadership trainings with John C. Maxwell. She and her husband blog about their homeschooling and parenting adventures at Hess Un-Academy.